Saturday will mark the ten-year anniversary of Emmitt Smith becoming the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher, and if you can hardly believe a full decade has passed since Smith reached pro football immortality at the other end of an 11-yard run against the Seattle Seahawks at old Texas Stadium, you’re not alone. Smith himself said this week that the ten-year mark snuck up on him as well.
“It was certainly a milestone for me and was difficult to accomplish,” Smith said this week, per ESPN Dallas. “Football is the ultimate team sport; one that’s not really about breaking records. My accomplishments throughout my career were due not only to my abilities, but also certainly to the efforts and sacrifices of others. I can’t take all the credit. We did this as a team and that is something I’ll always cherish.”
The old truism is that “records were made to be broken,” but considering the evolution of the game--with teams moving away from the one-running back approach in favor of a platoon system--Smith’s mark seems primed to stand for a very, very long time.
“Records ultimately always seem to get broken,” Cowboys head coach (and Smith’s teammate in Dallas) Jason Garrett said. “Some of those ones that are untouchable and last a long time at some point seem to be eclipsed, but you’re question is well taken because the way the league is it doesn’t seem like we have these bell-cow rushers who get the all 25-30 times a game like they did years ago.”
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